As the fourth quarter of 2020 winds down to a close, and we get to leave 2020 behind, many of you are beginning to plan your 2021 business strategies. We have been amazed to witness sheer brilliance on the part of our clients as they adapted, improvised, and overcame some amazing challenges the last seven months.
But now is the time of year when many of you set aside some quality time with your management teams to create your 2021 goals and strategies to reach them. A recent article by our friends from Vistage really caught my attention as I was contemplating this topic (Vistage is the world’s largest executive coaching organization for small and midsize businesses).
Entitled, “Planning for 2021: 5 Key Questions Leaders Are Asking”, the article is full of some great tips on what we need to be asking/doing/contemplating as we begin to plan for another eventful year, with much unknown even now. Here are the five questions that they suggest every business owner consider as you move into 2021 planning sessions:
Although each and every one of these are vital questions that need to be examined, from an exit planning standpoint (and yes, exit planning still is important because buyers are still actively looking for investments – according to data from Refinitiv, the third quarter set a record for M&A activity), the fourth question is really key. Here is how Vistage described it:
One thing hasn’t changed during the pandemic: The most successful leaders are laser-focused on staying close to their best customers and understanding the strength of their relationship with them. Leaders are taking these key questions into consideration: What specific challenges are my customers facing? How will my company adapt our resources to address customers’ current and future needs? What are our coverage plans for servicing customers?
One vital area that business buyers look closely at during due diligence is how sustainable is the target’s future growth? How strong are the relationships with key clients and customers? This is especially true in today’s world.
Many of you have worked closely with your key clients over the past seven months and have most likely implemented strategies and tactics to better meet their needs. If you have, then great work! You will be well-positioned for the economic recovery.
If you haven’t, take some time over the next few weeks to ask them what you can do better to help them. Talk to your salesforce, listen to what they are hearing and take steps today to determine how best to add value to your business by better connecting with your clients.
Find out what pain they are feeling and adapt to help them and, in so doing, cement your future with a solid, sustainable client base with strategies and tactics that are nimble, adaptive, and provide true value to your customers.
As we all know knowledge is power – the more you learn about exit planning and, even more importantly, how to grow your business so that it is buyer ready when you are ready to move on, the better.
To gain this knowledge, I would encourage you to attend a Generational growth and exit planning conference. If you have attended one in the past, and it has been years since, you really should plan to attend again to find out just how you can access the services of our skilled growth experts with Generational Consulting Group.
Our team is helping business owners just like you right now to solidify their operations, implementing tactics and strategies to not just survive, but thrive.
Don’t just take my word for it – have a listen to what a few of our clients have said about our consulting services:
The common theme you hear here is one of hope! GCG and its team of professionals helped each owner come up with a plan that will radically change their future trajectory. We can do the same for you if your exit plans are for 2021, 2025 or beyond.
But the first step is attending (or re-attending) a Generational growth and exit planning meeting. To learn more, follow these links, and thanks again to our friends with Vistage for giving business owners some great questions to contemplate heading into 2021:
Carl Doerksen is the Director of Corporate Development at Generational Equity.
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We will highly recommend Generational Equity and Musa Jagne to any business owner about to embark on the same process.Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing
Tom Staszak is one of the most professional people I have dealt with in my last forty years of business. You’ve got a great group of people and you have built a truly professional organization.Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
Dear Chris and Andre, I just wanted to say thanks for all your help. Even though this process was not an easy one, it was comforting to know that I had a capable team standing beside me. You made me feel like we were almost your only client or at least the most important one. Thanks again, and I will recommend your service in the future.Shenille Engelhart, Owner – CLS Technology
The help you provided us during each step of this process made us feel very comfortable and confident we were selecting the right approach to transition our Company.Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
I must say that I have never worked with a more driven, competent and focused individual as Don Ho.Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
T.D., thank you so much! You are a great leader! I love how you are using your gifts and talents to better others. You are clearly a GREAT COACH! This 3 day session undoubtedly changed the future of our business, and very well may have been the sole catalyst to save my company, my health and my marriage! A genuine “thank you” from the bottom of my heart.Bryan D. Horn, Owner, Over Under Clothing
Thank you again for all your guidance and support. Any company will achieve what they intend, if they have you on their team!Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
Bruce and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Generational Equity for assigning Musa Jagne to our transaction. In Bruce’s words, “Musa did one hell of a job for us!”Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing
I wanted to write you a quick letter to express our appreciation and our delight on the outcome of helping us through the process of our recent sale. We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
Generational Equity’s assistance was invaluable in compiling and marketing our business.Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
I couldn’t have asked for a better team than Michael and Deborah. We couldn’t have done it without them.Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
I quickly recognized that Don was working for Sharpe Mixers above all else, and held our interests above others.Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
Generational Equity educated and informed us – so that we could be on the upside of a good decision (to sell).Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
We knew it would be a difficult task to have someone really understand our business and our market, prior to researching a possible buyer, so it was imperative that we found someone of your caliber, with definite proven experience in this area.Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
Your wisdom and experience were invaluable to me during this once-in-a-lifetime transaction.Ralph Noblin, President of Noblin & Associates
We are extremely pleased with the way Generational Equity handled the sale of our company. Your associates, Tom and Chris, did an outstanding job of getting us (me) through the process.Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
Michael worked tirelessly, He followed every lead meticulously and urgently to make sure nothing was missed.Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
The process was much more involved than I expected and your help, experience and advice was a big factor in making the negotiations go as smoothly as possible.Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
Thanks again Phil and feel free to have a future client call me if they would like a referral. You are a true professional!Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
We were happy to see the interest in our company and what we cherished has not just a valuable company but an important company to the communities we served in.Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
I need to say an immense thank you to Don Ho for his stellar work ethic, attention to detail, and tireless effort. Also thank you to the whole crew at GE! Without you, Don could not do such a phenomenal job. We were shooting for closing and funding before the end of 2020, due to the uncertainty of the political landscape and taxes. I am happy to report we closed last week and will be funding tomorrow.Dr. Caty J. Catron PhD, RN, VA-BC – Owner, Vic The Picc, LLC
Greetings Mike. Thank you for the captivating and compelling presentation you made at the Phoenix presentation last week. Over many years in business yours was the most informative and well-presented presentation, on any subject, that I have ever attended! Your energy and enthusiasm combined with your concise and captivating support of your positions with easily understood examples and data was compelling.Pete L.
I am pleased that I was able to work with Andrew Byrd throughout this experience. From the first meeting we had in Minneapolis I felt that I was in good hands. His knowledge and expertise is second to none. He guided the process consistently throughout. I feel lucky that I was pared with Andrew and could not be happier that I chose Generational Equity to handle this major life event. Thank you Andrew and GenEq for everything!Eric Erlandson, Owner, Action Fastenings, Inc.
I would like to thank you and your firm, Generational Equity, for being our valued advisors in our journey.Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
We thank you Eric and Generational Equity making our dream come true.Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
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